Heineken Cup Round 2: 5 things we learned

1. Lawes is the man in form
Courtney Lawes put in a stupendously good performance during his side’s victory over the Ospreys and it wasn’t for the first time this season. The lock seems to have managed to control his wild side and is channelling it into his defensive game, as was evident in the 20 tackles he made. He is England’s in-form lock at the moment and surely has to start against Australia.

2. What a difference a week makes
No one last week could have predicted that Cardiff Blues would beat Toulon after they shipped 36 first-half points to Exeter, but at the weekend they managed to do just that. Who knows how much the weather contributed to it and it wasn’t a magical performance by any stretch of the imagination, but the team stuck together and managed to grind out a win. It even brought tears to the eyes of Phil Davies (but that could just be because he realised his job is safe for another week).

3. What could have been for Gloucester
Despite strong denial by Nigel Davies, it was clear that Gloucester had other games on their mind as they named their squad to travel to Munster. They had a predominantly second-string team out yet still managed to cause the Irishmen a bit of trouble and if they had named a stronger team, they could have snatched a win, or at least a losing bonus point which, as we know, often turns out to be crucial in the Heineken Cup.

4. Sky Sports’ Scottish blunder
In one of the tightest pools in the competition, you would think that Sky Sports would perhaps give viewers the option of watching the Glasgow v Exeter game as it promised to be eventful, given the number of tries scored by the two sides in the opening round, but no, it didn’t have a main slot and it wasn’t even available on the red button. To make matters worse, the highlights available are one minute long and they have wrongly shown Tommy Seymour’s disallowed try as Tyrone Holme’s late winner.

5. Ulster have the win of the campaign… so far
While many are – quite rightly – talking about Cardiff’s victory over Toulon, it was the travelling Ulstermen who recorded the win of the season so far. Montpellier have been in great form this season, particularly at home, and many see them as amongst the favourites for the Top 14, but they came across an Ulster side who were unwilling to be pushed around. Rory Best, Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson were the pick of the players in the 8-25 victory.

By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

2 thoughts on “Heineken Cup Round 2: 5 things we learned

  1. Holmes’ try against exeter was brilliant display of support play. Pity, only those who were there will get to remember it!

  2. Toulose have been appalling travellers of late, so turning up at Wembley and brutalising one of the APs most physical teams upfront makes them a favourite for a home QF. In the overall context of the competition this was as significant a result as Ulster turning over Montpellier.

    After 2 rounds only 3 teams have 100% records. Is this set to be the most competitive pool stage ever?

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